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Choosing the right seminar venue to optimize ROI and get the best out of participants

Whether you're looking to stimulate your teams, build team spirit for more fruitful collaborations, or train your employees, a seminar is always a decisive moment that must leave a lasting impression if it is to be fully effective. Nearly 6 out of 10 companies are already in the habit of getting out of the office for their internal meetings, in order to benefit from the advantages of a different setting, to encourage creativity and avoid being confined to one's comfort zone. When organizing a seminar, it's more important than ever to select a venue that not only meets your needs, but is also capable of surprising your audience, putting them at ease and giving them all the keys they need to be as receptive and productive as possible. There are a number of things to consider before choosing a venue.

Identify the seminar's stakes and book the right venue

In concrete terms, you won't choose the same type of venue if you're looking to train your teams, consolidate them or boost your brand's image, for example. So, before you even start looking at what's on offer in terms of seminar rooms and venues, it's vital to draw up your specifications in line with your objectives.

Corporate context: sobriety or reward?

The health of the company will influence the choice of venue for a seminar. In fact, if the situation is delicate and you're looking to refocus employees following a communications crisis, bad buzz or poor figures, you're better off going for simplicity. But be careful not to confuse simplicity with austerity. Of course, honesty is essential, to show your teams the reality as it is. However, it's also vital to use this event to motivate the troops, so that they once again believe in the potential of the company they work for. The key, in such a configuration, lies in choosing the right balance between sobriety and a stimulating setting. Conversely, a seminar can take place in more positive circumstances. The company is doing well, making progress, and the aim is to increase innovation in order to grow even more. In this case, to reward sales staff who sell particularly well, or researchers who have proved their skills, it would be more appropriate to provide a festive, or at least exciting, setting..

In any case, the choice should never be too extreme, too luxurious or too punitive. But the space must reflect the context, and it's important to think carefully about this.

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Incentives: mobility and fluidity, two necessities

For incentive events, the ideal setting for a seminar is a multi-purpose complex, where participants can take part in both physical and cultural activities, as well as more formal meetings. The provision of outdoor space can be a real plus, allowing all participants to get some fresh air between sessions - and why not try their hand at other team-building activities such as fruit and vegetable picking, golf or team sports.

Participants: know their profile, needs and expectations

A seminar must always be a pleasant experience for its participants, whatever the objective and whatever the context. Naturally, you won't select a venue in the same way if you want to address managers, employees, customers, suppliers or partners. You may also have to deal with a heterogeneous public, which often means making more neutral choices, to avoid making certain categories of people feel uncomfortable. Age, gender, socio-professional category and status must all be taken into account. The more homogeneous and restricted the group, the more it becomes possible to make bold choices, perfectly consistent with one's expectations.

Targeting the best ROI for your seminar

A seminar costs a company money, but everyone knows that these expenses are worthwhile when they are the fruit of careful thought. This kind of event also takes time to organize - time which is not really devoted to your core business. Of course, you have to aim for a real return on the event: whether it helps launch a product and boost sales, galvanizes employees to improve creativity or productivity, instructs to help teams progress, or welds bonds for better future collaboration.

Adapt the choice of venue to the number of participants

The larger the seminar venue, the more expensive it will be to rent. Of course, everyone needs to have enough space to feel comfortable, and you also need to pay attention to the flexibility of the facilities, when you want to organize several different activities on site.

However, it's absolutely essential to avoid falling into the trap of "too much ": don't select a setting that's too luxurious and at odds with the corporate context, or even opt for a space that's far too large and won't be fully utilized. The first risk - losing money - isn't the only one: you can also choose the wrong setting and, as a result, organize an event without obtaining the expected results.

Set your budget in advance and think of all the details

To ensure that you don't exceed a certain budget when organizing a corporate seminar, the best advice applies to all managers who indulge in the practice: **draw up a precise budget in advance, include all requirements and make sure you don't overspend. To get to this stage of anticipation, you need to have already answered all the questions detailed above, from the objectives of the seminar to the number of participants and the activities to be planned. In addition to these broad outlines, we also start to list all the equipment required, the number of meals to be taken on site, the price of any goodies we plan to create for the occasion, and travel expenses, if any.

What are the advantages of using atypical seminar rooms?

Many companies offer the rental of spaces specially dedicated to seminars and seem to have thought of everything for the comfort of participants. But against all odds, it may be a good idea to turn away from these popular offerings for a while, in favor of lesser-known practices. Indeed, by choosing an atypical seminar room or venue, you clearly increase your chances of making a lasting impression and making your event profitable.

The need to think outside the box

More than ever, getting out of your own premises allows you to set the event on more neutral ground. This benefits company members, who appreciate discovering a new space (all the more so if it's atypical). But it will also appeal to potential external participants (suppliers, customers, partners), who can only congratulate an organizer capable of going off the beaten track to bring people together and facilitate communication.

Work on imagination and well-being in an unusual space

Through OfficeRiders, you can rent your own space for business events. For example, why not bring your teams together in a charming Parisian apartment in a sought-after neighborhood, on a floor high enough to take full advantage of the natural light? In a pleasant place where you feel "at home", it's not only easier to forge bonds, but also to let your imagination run wild.

Take stock of the services you need, and the "extras" that make the difference.

make all the difference To leave nothing to chance when choosing a seminar venue, it's essential to identify all your needs beforehand. As mentioned above, this is the best way to anticipate your budget. At the same time, however, it's essential to ensure that everyone has access to what they need, and gets full satisfaction from the event.

Precise specifications for technical needs

A simple missing computer or a faulty connection can prevent the organization of part of a seminar and seriously jeopardize its profitability. That's why, in your specifications, you need to plan for absolutely everything you're going to need, from the number of tables and chairs, to cables and connectors, projectors, screens, office supplies and even things to take a break in the room (coffee machine, water fountain, small cookies). These specifications also define the dates of the event, to ensure that the premises can be made available without any difficulty.

Don't forget the little extras that can make all the difference

Whatever the purpose of the event, there are many little extras that will make it all worthwhile for seminar participants. For example, the presence of a rest room becomes essential when the seminar lasts a minimum amount of time. Care is taken to ensure that the furniture on site is comfortable and adapted to the needs of the participants. For a more playful and "fun" feel, a billiard table, table soccer or works of art to decorate the space may also be considered. All of these elements allow you to take your mind completely off work conditions, and let your imagination or competitive spirit flourish, for example. Finally, the location of the seminar is decisive. While it's perfectly possible to rent an atypical area just about anywhere, each company is free to select a space close to its offices for easier access by employees, a meeting point in the heart of Paris to better accommodate people who come from afar and use public transport, or a much more remote area, with the aim of a total change of scenery.